Council OKs SFD excessive false alarm fee

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — An administration fee increase for Sidney Fire Department’s excessive false alarms was approved by Sidney City Council during its Monday evening teleconference meeting.

Deputy Fire Chief Dallas Davis said the administrative fee for excessive alarms originally was adopted by council in 1991, and the fee structure and maximum false alarm limit had not changed since the 2014 revision.

Council adopted the ordinance for the new fee of $350 for more than eight false alarms in a calendar year. The previous fee was $125. Davis said the fee was calculated based on the cost of about $291.50 for a 30 minute false alarm response.

The tally of false alarms will be converted to a 12 month “rolling experience period” if a customer exceeds the eight alarm allowance in any two consecutive calendar years, until false alarms reduce below eight.

City Council also adopted six other ordinances, and they are:

• To make supplemental appropriations for 2020;

• To make an appropriation for expenditures for the year ending on Dec. 31, 2020;

• To assess the cost of the removal of litter or junk or weed cutting for outstanding invoices through Oct. 14, which remain outstanding as of Nov. 17. For weed mowing violations, the invoiced amount is the actual cost of the mowing plus $75 for the first weed cutting, $150 for the second cutting and $150 for each cutting thereafter. For junk removal violations, the invoiced amount is the actual cost of the junk removal plus 20 percent. A total of 67 properties will be assessed a total of $16,528 for weed cutting, and another 18 properties will be assessed a total of $5,856.40 for junk removal.

• To amend sections of an ordinance regarding city employees’ pay organizational chart and pay;

• To repeal a section of the codified ordinances pertaining to “mandatory retirement for police and firemen,” which Human Resource Manager Vickie Allen said is outdated and does not comply with state and federal laws on age discrimination. The upper age limit was removed from all ordinances from 1978 and 1981 after it was discovered earlier this year that it also needed to be repealed.

• To enact a sections of an ordinance regarding employees pay tables and classification plan and declaring it an emergency so that it will take effect immediately.

City Council also was introduced to, and then adopted as an emergency, an end of the year ordinance to make supplemental appropriations for the year 2020, declaring such expenditures of funds and the undertaking of the projects necessary due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19, authorizing use of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) funding for public safety payroll expenses.

In other business at the end of the meeting, Fire Chief Chad Hollinger spoke about the city’s new medic, which was delivered within the last week. He thanked council for its support in purchasing the unit that many council members were able to view prior to the beginning of Monday’s meeting.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.